Tag: Legal Issues


Ombudsman holds council to account over care home’s ban on relative’s visits

Posted on June 6th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Ombudsman holds council to account over care home’s ban on relative’s visits

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found Liverpool City Council to be at fault after a woman was banned from visiting her mother in a care home in the district after she complained about her treatment.

The woman, whose mother had been placed in a care home by Liverpool City Council, said she was banned by care staff from seeing her after she raised a number of concerns about the way her mother was fed, washed, and looked after.

The care home told the Ombudsman the ban was because of a previous incident reported to the police because of the daughter and her partner’s behaviour, but it could not provide any evidence that an incident had occurred, or was reported the police.

Ombudsman Michael King said councils and care providers with open, transparent and mature complaints handling processes should welcome the … Read More »


Sunrise to pay £2m in compensation to residents

Posted on May 9th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Sunrise to pay £2m in compensation to residents

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has secured more than £2m in compensation for residents of care home operator Sunrise Senior Living as part of an investigation into compulsory ‘upfront fees’.

Sunrise has said it will give money back to the vast majority of residents who paid such fees since 1 October 2015. This will apply to residents who have left or leave within two years of moving in to one of the company’s care homes. If the resident dies within this time, their family will receive the compensation.

The move comes as part of the CMA’s ongoing investigation into how some care homes charge for their services. This uncovered that Sunrise’s description of its upfront fee – running to several thousands of pounds per person – and how it would be used, was unclear. Moreover, prospective residents were having to pay … Read More »


Council should not have charged top-up fee while family sold home

Posted on March 28th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Council should not have charged top-up fee while family sold home

Norfolk County Council has agreed to investigate whether more care home residents have been incorrectly charged a top-up fee, after one family’s complaint was upheld by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

When the family placed their mother in a care home and needed to sell her house to pay for her care, the council should have offered the woman a so-called ‘affordable’ care home. This would not require the family to pay a top-up fee above what the council would contribute, for 12 weeks while the home was being sold.

Instead, the Ombudsman’s investigation found the council charged the family for those 12 weeks, wrongly arguing that because the woman’s capital, including her property, was above the £23,250 threshold, it did not have to offer her an affordable placement.

The council has waived the fee, and has agreed to check if … Read More »


New liberty protection laws to replace DoLS

Posted on March 16th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on New liberty protection laws to replace DoLS

Proposed new legislation would replace Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) with a new system – Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS), a set of checks that aim to make sure that any care which restricts a person’s liberty is in their best interests.

Government says the reform will offer a more efficient and effective system which better takes into account people’s past and present wishes for care and treatment. The proposed changes follow a series of recommendations published by the Law Commission last year, criticising DoLS as being too bureaucratic and complex.

The Government is consulting with health and social care stakeholders to finalise the plans before introducing new legislation. Care minister Caroline Dinenage said the Government broadly accepted the recommendations made by the Law Commission and would replace DoLS in a bid to provide better care for people and increase access to the … Read More »


Care England granted right to intervene in Court of Appeal sleep-in shift case

Posted on February 21st, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Care England granted right to intervene in Court of Appeal sleep-in shift case

Provider representative body Care England has won the right to intervene in the Court of Appeal’s sleep-in-shift case – with the hope of solving the impending £400m financial crisis for care providers, mainly those who provide specialist care.

With the hearing set for 20-21 March this year, law firm Anthony Collins Solicitors are acting for Care England, with the body given the opportunity to pursue new arguments not yet considered in the Royal Mencap Society vs Tomlinson-Blake Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) case to date.

Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green said that, if the existing decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal were upheld, it would be a watershed moment for the sector, with profound affects for the viability of residential domiciliary and supported care which supports 1.2m vulnerable people across the country.

“I cannot stress the magnitude of this opportunity for our … Read More »


Survey to assess impact of sleep-in pay on social care

Posted on February 20th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Survey to assess impact of sleep-in pay on social care

Care providers are being urged to participate in the national survey commissioned by the Solve Sleep-Ins Alliance (#SolveSleepIns), a group of organisations that represent providers delivering overnight support shifts. The alliance is formed of the Association for Real Change, Care England, Learning Disability England, Learning Disability Voices and the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG).

The alliance says a full independent, accurate analysis of the impact of the bill for sleep-in back pay on social care is urgently needed.

The survey, accessible via www.sleepinsurvey.org.uk will close at midnight on Monday 5 March 2018. Data will not be shared across organisations and only aggregated data will be reported in our policy influencing and campaigning activities.

Changes to government guidance mean that sleep-in staff who previously earned around £30 per shift must be paid minimum wage, with providers liable for six years’ worth of back pay … Read More »


Call for insurance costs to be cut for care homes with cameras

Posted on February 16th, by geoff in CT Extra. Comments Off on Call for insurance costs to be cut for care homes with cameras

Caring Times, February 2018

The cost of insurance for care home operators could be slashed by installing CCTV, according to Philip Scott of pioneering safety organisation Care Protect.

Mr Scott is calling on insurers to take the reduced risk to patients in homes with CCTV systems installed, and subsequent reduction in financial and reputational risk to homes, into account when calculating premiums.

The operator of a care home with 70 beds can currently expect to pay up to £10,000 a year for insurance, while the premium for nursing homes and those offering specialised services can be significantly more.

Care Protect’s monitoring system employs the latest sound and motion sensitive technology which when activated by a ‘resident event’, triggers recording which within seconds alerts the 24/7 professional monitor. This reduces risk because assistance can be provided to a resident within seconds of the event having … Read More »


Ombudsman calls for councils to be clear on care home costs

Posted on February 8th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Ombudsman calls for councils to be clear on care home costs

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has reminded councils across England they must give families accurate information when placing relatives in care homes, following an investigation into a complaint against Lincolnshire County Council.

The investigation found a family was not told about the possibilities available to them when their father was placed in a care home as an emergency. They were left with no option but to pay a ‘top-up’ fee, when the council should have offered them the choice of a home which did not require the additional amount. When they struggled to pay the fees, their father was threatened with eviction.

During the investigation, the Ombudsman also found the council had unclear information about care home fees on its website and Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman Michael King has now has asked the council to review its procedures … Read More »


Judge finds in favour of Essex in fees review

Posted on January 30th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Judge finds in favour of Essex in fees review

‘Councils’ care duties cannot be viewed in isolation’

Representative body Care England has lost a judicial review it brought against Essex County Council on behalf of local care providers who said the Council had breached its Care Act duties by setting fees too low.

In 2016, using a new commissioning framework in 2016, Essex offered private care home operators a maximum of £538.37 and £577.29 per week per resident for residential and nursing care respectively.

A costs of care analysis completed by the council a few months later set ‘ceiling fair market prices’ at £641.15 for residential and £665.35 for nursing care. Essex said raising all rates to these levels would be financially unviable and instead offered providers a weekly per-person uplift of just under £14 to compensate for increased costs incurred by the National Living Wage.

Care England argued that Essex had contravened … Read More »


Ombudsman highlights the power of complaints to improve social care

Posted on January 16th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Ombudsman highlights the power of complaints to improve social care

The impact of an individual complaint in improving care services for others has been highlighted in a new report by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman’s Review of Adult Social Care Complaints shows councils and care providers implemented more than 1,300 recommendations to put things right for people in 2016/17.

As well as putting things right for an individual, the Ombudsman makes recommendations to improve services for others by changing policies and procedures, training staff, or recommending a service be provided.

Within the Ombudsman’s 1,318 recommendations, councils and care providers made nearly 180 procedural changes and committed to train staff on nearly 50 occasions.

In some cases the result of a single investigation leads to the Ombudsman looking at injustices caused to people who haven’t complained. Examples of this over the past year include one person’s complaint about the way a … Read More »



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